Tibia fracture: symptoms, operation

How does a tibia fracture happen and what are the symptoms? What treatments are possible for a tibia fracture? Here’s what you need to know.


What is a tibia fracture?

Since the lower leg is made up of two long bones – tibia and fibula – a tibia fracture occurs when the thickest bone, the tibia, is broken. These two bones connect the ankle joint to the knee joint. The tibia fracture can be simple, open, displaced or not, depending on the severity of the accident and the injury.

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Symptoms: how do you know if you have a broken tibia?

We recognize a fracture of the tibia, if after a fall or an accident, the patient feels intense pain in the leg and is unable to take support on it. In the event of a displaced or open fracture, the leg is in an abnormal position, even shortened, and the skin may have torn during the impact by a piece of the tibia. The appearance of a leg edema is also one of the symptoms of a tibia fracture. Finally, a feeling sick and racing heartbeat due to trauma are also part of the symptoms of a tibia fracture.

How is the diagnosis made?

During the diagnosis, the doctor will try to find out what were the causes of the accident or trauma. Before doing an X-ray of the leg, the doctor will find out if the victim can support himself on his leg and will examine the tissues and muscles that are next to the fracture.

What are the causes and risk factors?

The fracture of the tibia usually occurs after a shock. The causes and risk factors of the fracture therefore vary according to the activities. Like bicycle and car accidents and falls from great heights, certain sports activities, such as skiing, parachuting and football, for example, can be the cause of the trauma. Finally, osteoporosis, a disease that weakens the bonecan be the cause of a tibia fracture in minimal trauma.

What treatments are offered for a tibia fracture?

Following a fracture of the tibia and depending on the diagnosis, several treatments are possible. In the case of a closed fracture, a orthopedic treatment performed under local or general anesthesia, consists in reuniting the two broken bone fragments, by external manipulations and therefore without surgical intervention. In the case of displaced and/or open fractures, surgery is often necessary. Most often, a metal rod is installed along the entire length of the bone to reinforce the support of the tibia and allow the patient to regain the mobility of his leg more quickly. The leg must be immobilized with a cast to encourage bone consolidation of the tibia. More rarely and in the event of a fracture into several fragments and/or a deep and extensive lesion, an external fixator may be considered by the doctors.

Can you walk with a broken tibia?

Depending on the fracture of the tibia and the injuries caused, a period of immobilization of the leg ranging from 45 days to 3 months must be respected.

Can you drive after a tibia fibula fracture?

It is forbidden to drive after a tibia fracture. Generally, and depending on the intensity of the fracture, resuming driving is authorized between a month and a month and a half after resuming walking.

Rehabilitation: how long does it take for a tibia fracture to heal?

In general, consolidation of a tibial fracture, in the absence of a skin opening, is estimated between 3 and 6 months.

When can we return to work?

After a fracture of the tibia, the return to work is between 1 month and a half to 3 months after the resumption of walking.

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